State Representative Laura Ebke of Nebraska has registered as a Libertarian, officially making history as the first Libertarian state senator. This decision was made 2 weeks after Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts publicly called out, by name, the Nebraska Republicans who had not yet supported Trump at the Nebraska Republican State Convention. Ebke has openly referred to herself as a “conservative libertarian” in the past, co-sponsored a bill to decriminalize medical marijuana, and had these words to say on the topic of marriage:
“I question whether we should ask the state’s permission to get married. I’m not sure it’s practical, but it would be better to just report the marriage after the fact for legal purposes.”
State Senator Ebke, whose first term in office is only halfway through, was instrumental in overruling Governor Ricketts’ veto of a bill outlawing the death penalty,
The story behind Governor Ricketts’ unruly endorsement of Donald Trump is of particular interest, since the governor’s own parents (who own the Chicago Cubs) have donated millions to an anti-Trump super PAC. Trump even called them out on Twitter, threateningly stating that they should be careful because “they have a lot to hide.” In summary, Ricketts did eventually endorse Trump, leading to an unusual moment in which he called out the state Republicans unsupportive of Trump.
Laura Ebke will be the first state senator in the Libertarian Party, but is not the only standing state legislator. Nevada State Assemblyman John Moore joined the Libertarian Party earlier this year. Ebke has endorsed Gary Johnson for president.
Considering the behavior and progressive policies of Donald Trump, it is no surprise that libertarians (and to a lesser extent, conservatives) are choosing to distance themselves from the GOP, and this has become an opportunity for the Libertarian Party. Though many have chosen to remain faithful to the Republicans, others are happy to leave to preserve principle. And as long as the newcomers are libertarian in principle, or at least a few steps in the direction of liberty, those of us in the liberty community will welcome them with open arms.
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